Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy 12th Birthday Ari!

I miss your goofy ways....

Growing Up (16)     IMG_0001    


  Arismovie-33     DSC04471



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh NO! Say it ain’t SNOW!!

9.5 inches of WET heavy snow!!


Kobie (who normally LOVES the snow) didn’t even want to stay outside!!IMAG0697


Friday, April 15, 2011

Anxiety Wrap…

…passed down from generation to generation….  huh?   what’s that??  Let me first say…  I don’t sell Anxiety Wraps – although maybe I should.  Here’s the website:   and here’s what it says….

A Therapeutic Hug …..The Anxiety Wrap uses Maintained Pressure and Acupressure to relieve stress and end/lessen fears and anxieties in dogs. Created in 2001, it was the first of its kind on the market and invented the category of Pressure Wraps.  The Anxiety Wrap mainly alleviates/lessens five major conditions:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insecurity
  • Shyness

These conditions are the root of many unwanted behaviors in dogs. And because The Anxiety Wrap can alleviate/lessen the basic, core condition, there are many unwanted behaviors that can end or lessen such as:

Thunderstorm fear …. Leash pulling …. Separation anxiety …. Fear of other dogs …. Constant barking …. Fear of people …. Unwanted jumping …. Travel anxiety …. Other noise phobias …. Fireworks fear …. Whining …. Hyperactivity …. Nervousness …. Car sickness …. Destructive chewing

So anyway..  you can read about it…  First I bought it for Josephine for thunderstorm phobia..  sort of helped…  I have no photos online because that was BD (before digital). 

Next was Teddy.  He had hip surgery and wouldn’t wear a cone.  Well actually he would but then wouldn’t move a muscle.  If he was sitting when I put the cone on him, 2 hours later he was sitting in the same place.  Hmm …  the anxiety wrap… would cover most of his hip but not all so we had to add some scarves…  pretty snazzy, huh?


And then there was Ari…  I really can’t remember why he has both the Anxiety Wrap and a cone on in this picture but it sure was a photo opportunity.  He did not care what he had on… it was all about fun!


So now…  Jake has been scratching himself…  is it a habit, anxiety, who knows…  Last night I hunted down the tried and true Anxiety Wrap and it just immediately had an affect on him and there was no more scratching…  He slept in it and I don’t think he moved off of the bed at all and when he did I pulled it off of him and he seemed oh… so glad.  So far, the scratching has not returned but the second it does… on comes the wrap… and then I’ll get a photo of him also!! 

2012-04-17 03.10.02

PS..  I would like to add that the first few times I put it on him he ran to my bedroom and buried his head under my pillow.  He obviously didn’t like it and if ever I saw a dog exhibit embarrassment, this was it. He was down right humiliated having to wear something like that!  I discovered that the trick is to put it on him while he is waiting to be fed…  Isn’t it amazing how food comforts even dogs! 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yep! GSDs get it all!









Josephine (1991-2003) Hip dysplasia – surgery (TPO) – Pannus - Thunderstorm phobia – Melatonin – Anxiety Wrap - Arthritis - Adequan series of shots - Lumps removed - Broken tooth – root canal - Kidneys failed

Ari  (1999 – 2009)  Addison's Disease - Anaplasmosis (tick disease) - Spondylosis - VOM treatment - Seizures – Brain tumor - Lumps removed

Teddy  (1999 – 2009) Hip dysplasia – surgery (FHO) Adequan series of shots - VOM treatment - Separation Anxiety -Tumor (most likely cancer) causing non-use of front leg

Olivia (1999 – present) Arthritis – Adequan series of shots - VOM treatment - Pannus – almost blind - Hearing impaired 90% - Nervous biting creating hotspots - Lumps removed

Kobie (2001 – 2011)  Pancreatic Insufficiency - Probable dementia - Probable bone loss like osteoporosis - Freak accident hitting wall (fatal)

Tori  (2003 – 2009)  Degenerative Myelopathy - VOM treatment -Infections – uterus

Brita  (2006 – present) Dental surgery at 9 months to reconstruct her palate because her lower canine created a hole in the roof of her mouth -

Jake  (2009 – present) Broken pelvic bone as a very young puppy that caused his hip to be pushed out of the socket – surgery (FHO) – VOM treatment - Small Hernia -Lyme's Disease





Sunday, April 10, 2011

What would you do? (meds)

A question was asked of me recently and what initially seemed like a pretty straightforward question make me think.  This was the question:  
“I was wondering if you could recommend nonprescription medicine for our dog. He is 13 and has a bone tumor on his front leg and arthritis in his back legs. An anti-inflammatory or anything for pain relief besides dog aspirin?”
I can only speak from my experience and I am certainly not a vet, vet tech or anyone related to the veterinary profession.  I just have dogs…. enough dogs that I’ve sometimes feel like I’ve experienced everything - which is, of course, not true and as I think of it, a topic for another post.  And I’m not a breeder so I have experienced nothing related to birthin’ ‘n babies!
So as I thought of what I would give to a 13 year old dog with a bone tumor, these thoughts ran through my head:
  • 13 years old, if a German Shepherd, is pretty old and I would be making that dog as comfortable as possible.  What I keep on hand for pain from my vet is Tramadol and that has gotten me through the pain both Teddy and Ari experienced before they crossed. 
  • If the dog was a smaller dog with a longer life expectancy, I possibly would look into removal of the tumor – depending, of course, what it is.
  • Another thing that crossed my mind was that I do NOT use Rimadyl and the only time I gave my dogs Deramaxx was post surgery. 
  • Glucosamine is what I give to young active dogs and is not a quick pain cure for older dogs.  It is pretty much a stable in my house for everyone!!
  • Glucosamine brought to mind the Adequan shots my dogs had a few years ago for stiffness but again that is not instant relief.
  • I would, for sure, take my dog to a VOM practitioner.
So…  do I have an answer?  My response is that it depends on the dog and its age and history.   Non-prescription – no suggestions..  it’s a “Vet thing”…..

Older dogs….  I usually take post photos of the dogs “smiling” with their tongue hanging out.  These are more serious pictures.  Teddy (1999 - 2009) on the left was on a walk through the woods and he was limping so he was resting.   Ari (1999 – 2009) in the middle was hanging out in his sandbox after the school bus went by.  Olivia (1999 – present) was visiting Teddy’s resting place a month after we lost him.  These 3, who were 6 months apart in age, were all about 9 when these pictures were taken.
5.11.08-17      IMG_5705       image44


Monday, April 4, 2011

What would you do…. (FHO)

….I was asked if you had to do it over…  Well..   …let’s see.. 

Let me tell you what I’m talking about – Jake’s FHO…. Femoral Head Osteotomy …that was his surgery to cut off the ball of his hip.  This is a procedure used for dogs with hip dysplasia but Jake had an accident at a young age…  what kind of accident, we don’t know.  When I got him at 12 weeks his pelvic bone had been broken and as it had healed it pushed his hip out of joint.  If you haven’t read about it… go back to the posts starting February 2010 and you’ll be able to read it from the beginning. 

Teddy had that surgery also at about 2 years old and it went very well for him so after being reassured that the fact that Jake was a puppy wasn’t a bad thing…  in fact it probably gave him an advantage … we scheduled the surgery.  I won’t go into that whole story because it is well documented in other posts.  This one will simply list some things that if I had to do over I would start before the surgery, if possible, to prepare for after the surgery.  So…here goes…

  • If I were doing it over I would get him used to physical therapy - not do it but get him used to what might happen.  Look at Jake on the grooming table - he will lie down anywhere and I can tell him to "put your head down" and he does..  all it took was treats... that you could start.  Instead of physical therapy before the surgery, I would get him used to this position and maybe some massage.
  • One of the the changes I made in my home was to position a large crate IMG_1617aright where I spend most of my time so while he is recovering (resting) he will not feel isolated.  I used rubber matting (the kind that is used in playschools) and had that all around it and a path to the door to go out.  I dug out my stash of throw rugs with rubber backing that I used when Ari was having rear end issues after his seizures to put down other places.  and need I say…  if you haven’t crate trained your dog, do it NOW!
  • I would take a horse lunge line (30 foot line from a horse supple store) and teach him how to "walk" away from me so I could stand still and have him go around me in a circle in a trot.  Jake had a tendency to want to run or hop and needed to learn to walk - sort of like a show dog but not so fast.  This may not be possible before surgery because of the pain but thinking about how to do it, putting it on the post-surgery list and getting a lunge line will then be one less thing to do after the surgery.
  • Make sure you have ice packs on hand….  read my post about what Jake thought of frozen vegetables being used in place of ice packs….  See the picture above also.
  • I hand made the coolest sling to help him walk…  just took a tote, cut it down the sides and sewed it up.  He never needed it.  I picked him up the same day of surgery and he walked out – he was a little goofy however!
  • Everything I've read indicated that the most successful recoveries are if the owner follows through with the right exercises, stretches, etc.  With Teddy I took him to physical therapy and he would walk in water.    That ,of course, does add an additional cost but checking in to it beforehand would be good.  With Jake, I choose not to do it and formulated a plan of what to do at home on my own.  If it was summer I would find a place to walk him in water – a pool, lake, etc.
  • I am a believer in supplements.  My dogs get Animal Naturals products.  Check them out.
  • Another thing - VOM treatments...  if you haven't read about it,  here is my VOM lady’s site:  This should be #1 or right up there in my opinion…  check with your vet for sure on this.  Included with her treatments is Cold Laser Therapy and AlphaSonic Sound Wave Therapy both2010-10-09 11.07.51 of which are described on her site. 
  • Teach “sit straight”  if your dog doesn’t.  Jake would puppy sit (lean to one side) and his back legs were uneven so I taught him that was not correct and that he needed to “sit straight”.
  • Teach spins and circles (I say circle for right and spin for left)…  fun for the dog and when his body was starting to curve to the right I would have him spin to the left and them have him do it slowly for a stretch. 
  • Prepare to keep a journal of the recovery…
  • I am now teaching Jake to walk on a treadmill.  Will post more later….

…….continued …. as ideas come to mind…

(PLEASE NOTE:  if any of these things are hard for your dog to do, STOP!  Obviously, lying on a table would be ok but walking on a line, spins, circles or walking in water could be VERY painful.)  Always remember….  SLOW is FAST! 

Here are some links to information that will be invaluable before, during and after the surgery!
Click here for Top Dog Animal Health & Rehabilitation’s website
Click here for Top Dog’s step by step guide to post-surgical home therapy for FHO recovery.
Click here for Top Dog’s Health and Rehabilitation’s YouTube channel. 


The photo of Jake catching the  ball was taken 9 months after
surgery.  Click on it to enlarge and you’ll see the muscle he has on
his hind leg.  What a guy, huh!

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